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Long Beach To Offer Small Grants For Some First-Time Home Buyers

A sign reading "Brand new luxury homes for sale" is shown in front of a three-story house. The house has a beige exterior, bay windows on every floor and is tall and narrow. A short wrought-iron gate surrounds the property.
A for sale sign in Monterey Park.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP/Getty Images)
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The City of Long Beach will offer 100 eligible first-time home buyers grants of up to $20,000.

The program, which is expected to open applications in early 2023, is intended to make home ownership available to low- and moderate-income families, and build multi-generational wealth.

"It's aimed to help current residents of Long Beach permanently invest in their community by becoming homeowners, and to provide help for people who are maybe just on the verge of being able to become a homeowner," said Meggan Sorensen, the Long Beach housing development officer.

To qualify, applicants must have never owned a home, and be first-generation home buyers in their families.

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Additionally, they must currently rent in a Community Development Block Grant area — those are primarily in north and central Long Beach.

"There are higher percentages of renters in those areas, and also some of the lower income areas of the city that would need some extra incentive to become homeowners," said Sorensen.

The grant is intended to help with down payments and closing costs, which can add up quickly.

Once applications open, the funds will be given to qualifying applicants based on when they enter escrow.

"When people have gotten approval for their basic eligibility, it's first to escrow will be those who receive the funding, so that we don't have a bunch of people approved but then don't actually close escrow and utilize the funding," said Sorensen.

Officials are happy to be able to offer the money as a grant rather than a loan.

"People don't have to feel that extra stress of just adding on the debt," said Sorensen.

You can find more information about the program here..

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